Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Artists of Light in Palazzo Grassi

Though it makes for an interesting backdrop, Doug Wheeler's "D-N SF 12 PG VI 14" really must be seen in person
You can take a boat far out into the lagoon to escape from the crush of tourists around Piazza San Marco or you can simply go to one of the city's museums or galleries and be surprised rather sadly, considering how many thousands of people fill the city each day at this time of year, by how few other people you encounter there.

Last Wednesday I went to the Pinault Foundation's Palazzo Grassi intent on seeing the Irving Penn exhibition now on view only to find myself completely absorbed by the other show now going on there entitled "The Illusion of Light."

Of course it's hard not to be struck upon entering the palazzo by the artist Doug Wheeler's transformation of the courtyard into a brilliant space of white light seemingly devoid--at least on two sides--of any dimensions. It's a startling experience, but not the only one in the show.

There are other notable pieces by Latifa Echakhch, three Gerhard-Richter-meets-film-noir paintings by Troy Brauntuch, and a wall-sized projected group portrait of Shell oil workers in Nigeria that I hope to write a future post about in relation to some other much older depictions of Africans one can see in Venice.

And of course there's the pretty extensive Irving Penn show on the top floor entitled "Resonance" that's worth a visit by itself.

Both shows run until the last day of 2014, and more information and images can be found here:

Philippe Parreno's "Marquee" lights up the palazzo's 18th-century frescoes attributed to Alessandro Longhi in irregular flickering and pulsing bursts
"Fantome (Jasmin)," in foreground, and "A chaque stencil une révolution", on wall, by Latifa Echakhch

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